Five new investors are said to have expressed interest in partnering Sahel Sahara and Omni Banks which began merger talks after receiving the initial ‘No Objection’ from the Bank of Ghana (BoG).
The two banks are currently in talks with these investors to select one who will present an additional $25 million in order to meet the minimum capital requirement.
Deputy Managing Director of Sahel Sahara Bank Dr Kojo Aboagye–Debrah, in an interview said, “We have offers as we speak, they are five in all, and we are looking at whether we should bring them onboard or the shareholders should rather invest in the company.
“We will work within the timetable to ensure that we close this deal and submit documentation to the Central Bank. There are three that are Ghanaians and two that are foreigners with one from a francophone country in Africa; it’s a bank.”
He said that he was not in a position to disclose the names because both sides were doing due diligence.
“That is what we need now to bring ourselves up to speed. We have signed the non-disclosure agreement and we have furnished them with all the necessary documentation they need,” Dr Aboagye–Debrah added.
Meanwhile, if beyond the discussions they are unable to reach an agreement, as the deadline approaches, then the shareholders would invest $25 million.
This comes after the Bank of Ghana last month approved the proposed merger of the two banks with a caution that the final approval will only be considered after all the necessary documentation has been submitted for review.
Even though the Central Bank is said to have given the two banks up to the end of December this year to submit all the necessary documentation on the merger and also meet the minimum capital requirement, the two banks are optimistic in meeting the regulator’s requirement two clear months ahead of schedule.
Currently, the two banks have $60 million support from their shareholders so the new bank, which is to be named OmniBisc, has a shortfall of $25 million.
Meanwhile, Managing Director of Omni Bank, Philip Oti, has stated that would submit all merger documents to the Central Bank by next week.
“In line with the mergers and acquisition guidelines that were issued by the Bank of Ghana, we have to submit certain documents to allow the Bank of Ghana to do due diligence on both banks before they approve the merger.
“I’m happy to tell you that the two banks are working together. Six committees have been formed and they have put together all the documents and we are ready to submit to the Central Bank by next week. Hopefully, we can get the approval as soon as we submit the documents.”
Commenting on the new investors who have shown interest in partnering the two banks, Mr. Oti said, “The second and perhaps the most important thing is to bring in the additional capital requirement. Following the No Objection Letter from the Central Bank, there is a lot of confidence that investors have shown in the two banks. They have approached us and we are in talks, and we are very confident that in October or latest by mid-November we should close one of these transactions.”
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